The TV was turned on to a news show and I was fooling around with something else and thought I heard the newscaster say, “Coming up next, the ‘murder hornet,’ now president in the United States for the first time.” I puzzled over it for a minute and realized she had actually said, “now present in the United States for the first time.” Still, given the around-the-clock lambasting of President Donald Trump, I excused myself.

It’s not as if Trump never deserves excoriation, as in telling millions during a nationally televised press conference that household disinfectants just might be an answer to COVID-19. But then there’s the other bombastic side, the people who disregard his accomplishments, exaggerate his faults and are willing to commit just about any infamy to evict him from the Oval Office.

The Constitution is thus endangered. The rule of law is endangered. Major institutions are endangered. Some of these critics are clearly willing to destroy fundamental American principles and institutions for the sake of their personal hatred and fear. Consider, for instance, what they did to Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

The multidecorated Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, had advised politicians before on military policies and, during the 2016 campaign, gave lots of long, boring speeches supporting Trump, who, after winning the election, would name him his national security adviser. As the time for the inauguration approached, Flynn had conversations with the Russian ambassador on varied issues, nothing all that unusual. It was not unusual, either, for the FBI to listen in with tape recorders whizzing.

After Flynn had donned his new title, the agency decided to go after him on the basis of nothing except the possibility that he was somehow involved in a Trump-Russia collusion, and this is not allowed. Protocol also calls for the FBI director to inform the president and the official before any investigatory quizzing, but James Comey decided not to and has joked about it. An informed Flynn could have called a lawyer to join him, not what the questioners had in mind.

What happened was a White House session about the innocent phone calls that the FBI already knew about to the last comma. Just recently, a document was found saying the agency might consider the value of catching Flynn in a lie, which is known as a perjury trap, but the two agents agreed afterwards that there was no lie. Ah, but some months later a force named Mueller was involved and Flynn was indeed charged with lying to the FBI. He was verifiably told to admit his guilt or his son would be prosecuted on a matter of the kind usually ignored.

The Flynn answer was you got me.

Now, several years later and impoverished by legal fees, Flynn has reconsidered the admission and the Justice Department has asked that this case be dismissed because it likely cannot be proved. A U.S. attorney, who had been brought in to carry out an unbiased review of everything, had so advised Attorney General William Barr. With a whopping load of documents to back him up, Barr has now said in so many words that there was no legitimate cause for this rigamarole in the first place.

Well, then you have Adam Schiff, a Democratic representative, head of the House intelligence committee, impeachment enthusiast, someone who said he had material evidence of Trump’s collusion with the Russians and never produced it. He said Barr, the best thing that could have happened to the Justice Department, was politicizing it, signaling more fury to come.

Let’s sum things up by explaining that “murder hornets” are big, orange and black, have only recently been arriving in the United States, slaughter honey bees and, over in Japan, sting something like 50 people to death a year. If we don’t get rid of them quickly, they could be a permanent menace when we have enough of that.

Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may email him at speaktojay@aol.com.

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